Memorial Drive Tennis Club

Memorial Drive Tennis Club

Our History


by Bernard Whimpress

This History is now available from our office at $10.00 a copy! Memorial Drive is one of the worlds great tennis clubs. It is full of tradition, and for more than seventy years has been the headquarters of South Australian tennis. For all that time it has produced grass courts which have ranked with the world's best.

MDTC Began life as the South Australian Lawn Tennis Club in 1914

The history of Memorial Drive is unusual in that the site was registered to the South Australian Lawn Terms Association and became the South Australian Lawn Tennis Club when it split off the state and national activities to a new association in 1968-69.

'Memorial Drive’ took its name from the winding avenue known as War Memorial Drive which follows the River Torrens from Hackney through North Adelaide.

The South Australian Lawn Tennis Association (SALTA) leased about six acres of ground on Park 22 in the South Park Lands between Goodwood and the Bay Roads for 21 years from 2 April 1914 at a rent of £30 per annum with £1000 to be expended within the granting of the lease. The trustees of the SALTA could terminate the lease after 2 April 1917 on giving three months notice in writing.

Progress was slow. In November 1915 the Council decided that the matter of suspending the lease should be held over until April 1916 when the rental was due, and that SALTA should be approached about depasturing on the site in the interim.

With the war ended and the lease on the South Parklands expiring the following ApriI the question to be answered was whether the SALTA was still interested in the Park 26 site. A poll of ratepayers to determine the issue was held on 7 November 1919. The poll results showed 3578 persons favoured the new lease, 1749 opposed with 78 informal votes cast.

Courts Opened in October 1921

The courts were opened in October 1921 by the Governor of South Australia Sir Archibald Weigall and Gerald Patterson won the first South Australian Men's Singles Championship in 1922, the year in which he also won Wimbledon for the second time. From this time the SALTA also acted as a club with playing and -non-playing members.

The association/club was the controlling body of tennis in South Australia. In 1923 a clubhouse and grandstand was erected, the northern grandstand being the former stand from Adelaide Oval which was dismantled and reassembled near its old home.

Jack Hawkes was the first Australian Men’ Singles Champion.

Over the years the Drive has been the venue for many major tennis events and in 1926 Geelong left-hander Jack Hawkes became not only the first winner of the Australian men’ singles staged at the Drive, but took the doubles with Patterson, and mixed doubles with Esne Boyd as well. Daphne Ackhurst won the second of her five Australian titles.

Latest News & Events
Sep
23

Summer lawn competition tennis 2018/2019

Metro and SMMLTA lawn competitions starting soon

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Aug
26

AGM 18/Sep/2018

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Tue, 6:30pm 18/Sep/2018

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Aug
24

Redevelopment of courts

MDTC members are advised that the redevelopment of the MDTC courts is well underway.

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Apr
16

Social Tennis - Winter 2018

Social Tennis - Winter 2018

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Apr
16

2017-18 State League - Ladies

Congratulations to our State League Ladies; Premiers for the 2017-18 Season. Well done to; Alana, Melanie, Melissa, Lucy and Michelle.

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Apr
16

Lawn Div 2 Mid-Week Ladies

2017-18 Premiers

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Apr
15

SMMLTA 2017/18 Prelim Final

SMMLTA 2017/18 D1D Preliminary Final - Memorial Drive versus Xavier

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Apr
09

SMMLTA 2017/18 Semi-Final

SMMLTA Season 2017-18 Semi-finals

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Mar
30

Henry Young

Today Tonight special on Henry Young

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Sep
28

MDTC Postal Box

The Memorial Drive Tennis club has a new Post Office Box PO Box 383, North Adelaide SA 5006.

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